Editor’s note: Our guest blogger today is Kate Emanuel, Senior Vice President of Nonprofit & Government Affairs at the Ad Council, the leading producer of public service advertising campaigns.

The Ad Council has produced thousands of PSA campaigns that address the most pressing social issues of the day. You may be familiar with some of our more iconic figures and slogans--McGruff the Crime Dog, "A Mind is a Terrible Thing To Waste", or "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk." And you may or may not be familiar with our more current campaigns with some of the nation’s leading nonprofits: hunger (with Feeding America), mentoring (with Big Brothers Big Sisters), unplanned pregnancy (with the National Campaign to End Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy), or adult literacy (with the Dollar Store Foundation).

Whether it’s fighting polio in the 1950’s or obesity prevention in 2011, the Ad Council’s mission and model has remained the same: we marshal the volunteer resources of the country’s ad agencies and media companies to raise awareness, change attitudes and spark social change.

But whether you’re the Ad Council, a large NGO or a small nonprofit with limited resources, we all face the same communications challenge: How to raise awareness for your cause against the backdrop of a cluttered media landscape and distracted consumers?

We don’t have all the answers but we always like to share our best practices and learn from others. That’s why we, along with Google, created a quarterly workshop series for the nonprofit community where we tackle all sort of emerging communications tools including mobile marketing, online contests, blogging, YouTube, and online video. Our latest briefing covered the suite of nonprofit tools offered by Google. Many of these programs are free and can really help nonprofits reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness for their cause.

Held in Washington, DC and New York, the events featured presentations by Google for Nonprofits team members who covered tools including:
  • Google Grants: Free AdWords advertising given to select charitable organizations to solicit donations, recruit volunteers and raise awareness
  • Mapping Technologies: How you can bring your story to life using Google Earth and Maps)
  • Google Analytics: How to analyze your web traffic in an entirely new way. Or track email campaigns, banner ads, web-enabled phones, mobile websites and mobile apps.)
You can view the Google Analytics, Grants, and Geo briefings on the Google for Nonprofits YouTube channel or check out the Google for Nonprofits website at www.google.com/nonprofits.

And if you’d like to be added to our email list for future events, please contact Danna Kulzer, Director/Nonprofit & Government Affairs. We’re always in search of new topics, attendees and shared learning!